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The appeal of South East Wales is clear to see, from its rolling green hills and valleys to its Medieval castles and its cosmopolitan capital city, but in the last few years a new attraction has been emerging that promises to add an extra dimension to trips in the region Welsh wine.
There is evidence that intrepid wine makers in South Wales have been cultivating vineyards for nearly 2000 years. The Romans, 12th century Cistercian monks and the Marquess of Bute all produced wines, but it has only been in the last few decades that vineyards in the area have been able to produce commercially successful wines.
Around eight vineyards now operate in the area, growing several grape varieties including Seyval Blanc, Bacchus and Pinot Noir. The larger vineyards produce around 5000 bottles a year, but when it comes to award time, all of the Welsh vineyards have had some success, with several of their sparkling whites and roses receiving commendations.
The reason for this recent commercial success is down to climate change. Southern Wales is experiencing milder winters and longer summers better conditions than the usual wet summers and long winters of the past.
Wine isnt the only reason for the vineyard tours, however, as many visitors are able to combine a wine tasting with a trip to nearby castles, museums and historic sites.
Parva Vineyard in Monmouth for instance is within easy reach of Tintern Abbey; Sugar Loaf Vineyard in Abergavenny is only a few minutes drive from the Blaenavon World Heritage site, and Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan is only a short distance from the Museum of Welsh Life.
All of the vineyards are also within a two hour drive of Cardiff, which means tours can take advantage of luxury accommodation, a wide choice of restaurants and bars, and transport links to the rest of Wales and the UK.
Just out side of Cardiff (8 miles) lies the town of Caerphilly, This place should not be missed. Caerphilly is famous for it's castle & cheese, The shopping is good and the mountain views look good durning day or night. There are so many good places to eat, wheather you enjoy pub lunches, Restaurants or tea rooms, There is some-thing for everyones taste. Highly recomended comes the 'Court House' which serves great food and looks out over Caerphilly Castle, which is so relaxing when enjoying some food and Drink.